Planning an Office that Adapts to the Differing Needs of Employees

Adapting to Employees Allermuir Pause Seating

Your company may have one clear mission and vision statement, but your team is a mix of personalities, body types, schedules, and commutes.  Creating an office space and adapting to employees needs is critical for a successful working environment.

In this age of hybrid schedules and remote working you may have an office space in downtown LA near LA Live and have some employees who live in the Arts District. Others may drive in once or twice a week from the High Desert or Palm Springs.

Some like to stand. Some like to sit—anywhere in the office.

You may have a conference room, but you can also benefit from lounge furniture that can be arranged and re-arranged as needed. It’s an age of multi-use furnishings that serve the dynamics of your office environment.

Let’s see how to design for a range of personalities.

Adapting to Employees’ Physical and Emotional Needs

You can customize your office in many different ways, like equipping for people who have different physical needs and those who have different working habits and styles.

Say you have a finance department where one person likes to sit and another needs to stand for brief periods of time. Height-adjustable desks can be the solutions you need.

Adapting to Employees DeskMakers Ascend Workstation
Photo: Deskmakers Ascend Height Adjustable Workstation

The look and feel of a height-adjustable desk can vary dramatically from one model to another. The DeskMakers Ascend Height Adjustable Desk has a minimalistic appearance. It adjusts easily from one position to another within seconds and comes with many different finishes.

Adapting to Employees Drug Artemis Desk
Photo: Krug Artemis Height Adjustable Desk

For an executive vibe, check the Krug Artemis Height Adjustable Desk.

Get input from your employees so they have buy-in. Ask about their preferences and how they’d like to be accommodated.

Adapting to Employees’ In-Office Working Habits

Not everyone likes to sit at a workstation all day. A change of scenery can help some people be more creative while others prefer stretch breaks and working at different locations throughout the day.

How do you handle the preferences?

HON Abound Workstation
Photo: HON Abound Height Adjustable Workstation

For those who prefer one place to sit and work, equip them with plenty of surface area and set aside boundaries for personal space. The HON Abound Height Adjustable Workstation is a high-tech solution that has numerous configurations. It comes with a wide range of finish options.

Adapting to Employees DARRAN Honey Workspace
Photo: Darran Honey Workspace

A unique solution that’s available is the DARRAN Honey Workspace.

Different styles of cubicles or desks with privacy screens can define personal workspaces and help provide focus.

The Loftwell Split Space Divider can easily fit in new or existing floor plans and it’s also an option for home offices that need separation between personal and professional spaces.


Photo: DeskMakers Synapse Workstations

Does someone need to get away inside the office?

Set aside a lounge area where people can go to answer phones or take their laptops and work. Here are ideas for furnishing the space.

Allermuir Famiglia Chairs
Photo: Allermuir Famiglia Chairs

Use a combination of seating that allows for semi-private conversations and impromptu or planned small-group meetings. A modular seating area that can be arranged and used at the last minute has a distinct advantage over a more formal conference room. It doesn’t have to be reserved and it’s easy to arrange for a small group and then rearrange for the next use.

Look into the ERG International Brighton Modular Lounge Seating, a daring modernization of gathering and meeting spaces.

Adapting to Hybrid and Remote Employees

In many companies, full-time workers may be in the corporate office full-time while others either work remotely or work a hybrid schedule.

Equipping the office to adapt to these schedules includes having flexible office spaces where hybrid and remote workers can settle when they come into the office for meetings. This space can also be used as an area with video conferencing tools for virtual meetings.

What’s a flexible office space?

It could be similar to the lounge area with tables that can easily be set up and taken down when not in use.

It could also be a workstation that’s kept available and is reserved for those who come in for two or three days out of the week.

Adapting to Employees Nevins Volo Media Table
Photo: Nevins Volo Media Table

Install the video conferencing space and tools that are right for you, like the OFS Obeya Architectural Structures or a media table like the Nevins Volow Media Table that fits in any size office space.

You may have a range of people to work with and a variety of expectations to meet, so choose the furnishings that let you adapt to the various needs and create a unified team.

Trust Experience

The team at 2010 Office Furniture has more than a combined 50 years of experience designing offices and adapting to employees needs.  Trust our experts who’s worked in creating modern office spaces and furnishing clients who are among Southern California’s most successful corporations, universities, and small businesses.

Contact 2010 Office Furniture for input on getting as much value as possible from your office environment.

Read Also: Your Guide to the Best Training Furniture for the Office
Main Photo: Deskmakers Synapse Workstation
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Allermuir, DARRAN, Deskmakers, HON, Krug, Nevins

Using Cubicles for a Competitive Advantage in Your Workplace

Using Cubicles for a Competitive Advantage in Your Workplace

Walking into an office cubicle has the same reputation as being forced below deck on an ancient Roman ship. Sit down, grab an oar and row. In other words, do your work or else.

Cubicles in popular culture are seen as creativity killers and depression inducers. The partitioned office layout is supposed to take the potential for a competitive advantage and crush it into conformity.

Meanwhile, an open office supports collaboration and productivity, right?

Wait. Not so fast. Workers want privacy in order to focus. Cubicles are a type of modular furniture that define personal space and can adapt to a changing office environment.

Look at the many benefits of modular furniture.

What is Modular Office Furniture

Modular office furniture is pre-made and either ready to assemble or easily moved together or apart. Workstations can be customized for different office space requirements and for the personal preferences of employees.

The components make it possible to have a desking solution for one or two people and then easily add more workstations as needed.

Reasons to Use Modular Office Furniture

Modular office furniture is a perfect solution for companies of all sizes.

Start-up companies can purchase a minimum number of units to get operations underway. As sales and cash flow in, more units can be purchased on an as-needed basis.

Established small businesses and corporations can use modular furniture for freelance and seasonal workers who need workstations on an as-needed basis. This style of office furniture lends itself well to creating collaborative workspaces.

Employees typically want a say in their surroundings. They can easily personalize cubicles, desks and modular shelving.

Businesses that have a lease and will likely move to new surroundings within a few years can buy modular furniture that’s easy to disassemble and store.

Open office floor plans can install modular partitions and architectural walls to create private areas that reduce noise and define individual and department work spaces.

Types of Modular Office Furniture

Look around an office and notice how many items have a modular solution like seating and shelving. Pull modular lounge chairs together quickly and easily for informal meetings. Push them apart when personal space is needed.

Let’s look at one of the most popular types of office equipment—cubicles.

Cubicles can be configured for varying degrees of privacy and collaboration. They work for individuals who want their own well-defined space, and cubicles can be used for individuals or teams who need to work cooperatively.

The components like walls, work surfaces, drawers and shelving can be set up according to workflow demands. Cubicles can have doors and clear partitions so workers don’t feel walled out. Different color options make cubicles attractive so they blend in well with a company’s brand.


Photo: Trendway Snap Workspace

Here’s a fact you likely don’t know:

The cubicle versus open office tug-of-war heated up decades ago.

The Original Need for Cubicles

The legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed an open office layout for Johnson and Johnson in the 1930s. That standard held until the mid-1960s when a designer with office furniture maker Herman Miller created an active office. The layout promoted personal space and focus.

Thus, the cubicle.

In the 2000s, up and coming tech start-ups embraced the open office concept once again.

What about now?

More options exist for cubicles than ever before.

Read on and see how to make decisions based on your company goals and the 2010 Space Planning Strategy.


Photo: Friant Novo Workstations

Understanding Cubicles

Gray carpeting on cheap aluminum partitions are gone. Instead, cubicles have color combinations that can reflect any company’s brand colors. Arrange the many different styles to support personal focus, communication within departments and company-wide collaboration.

Project teams that need back and forth dialogue on the client-challenge-of-the-month can use one type of layout while the finance department can use another style.

According to this description from the website Dimensions.Guide cubicles:

  • Offer Privacy
  • Buffer Noise
  • Reduce Visual Distractions


Photo: HON Accelerate Workstations

Companies that have an open office floor plan can use cubicles to create a hybrid office plan where some space is open and other work areas are partitioned and designated for individuals or small teams.

Cubicles no longer fit one stereotype. Some products are similar to long tables with workers sitting across from each other. Privacy screens several inches or higher form a personal workspace.

Other cubicles look like small private offices with partitions that create a three-sided setting by blocking workers to the right and left.

Cubicles can also be in a fan-shaped style and act as pods to fit three or four workers in the same department.

Now see how you can make this well-known office accessory benefit your workplace.

Know How You Want Your Cubicle to Function

Match the style of cubicles to the needed function. Standard cubicles typically allow from 6 feet 6 inches of individual workspace to 6 feet 8 inches. Cubicles for managers can be designed with a larger footprint.

An administrative cubicle for bookkeeping or human resources can have a desk with modular storage on one end and a place at the other end to handle computer work or in person meetings. The Friant System 2 and the HON Accelerate Workstations are good examples.


Photo: Friant System 2 Workstations


Photo: HON Accelerate Workstations

There can be enough space to include a chair for someone to stop in and have a conversation.

Benching cubicles are made for utility tasks like data entry while allowing for personal space and modular storage. Look into a model like the ODS Crossroads Workstation.

You can evaluate who needs what cubicle style by knowing:

  • How much repetitive work an employee has to do
  • How often that person needs to interact with others
  • The use of phone calls with customers.

Choose specific cubicle layouts to support your different office functions.

Clear company goals, supported with clearly defined workspaces and roles, create efficiency and help people work productively.

Competitive advantage: A cubicle can lead to a highly productive work environment.


Photo: ODS / Office Design Studio Crossroads Workstations

Cubicles Can Boost a Company’s Brand Internally

Appearances matter in the workplace—not showy and ostentatious—but neat, functional and inviting styles in furnishings give employees a sense of pride and belonging in the workplace.

Partition colors and clean lines look professional without being overbearing and stifling.

High end cubicles can house executive desks and cubicle workstations can fit easily within an open office layout. Workstations are flexible and space can easily be added as the company expands and new hires are made.

People see the investment made when they settle at their workstations and can buy in to the brand promise being made to the outside world.

Competitive Advantage: Cubicles are flexible and can lend to collaboration or privacy as needed.


Photo: ODS / Office Design Studio Crossroads Workstations

Cubicles Can Channel Workflow

Direct the workflow of individuals into a complete whole with well-defined cubicle pods, cubicle benches and products like architectural walls.

If you have a few people who are making outbound sales calls, they can have one style of cubicle with partitions in an area of the office. Further set the space apart in a green and pleasing manner using indoor plants and crafted bookcases.

A project team can have their own style of workstation where they can focus on their own work individually, yet easily turn around and communicate with others.

Set apart a meeting space using floor to ceiling walls that are clear and that easily install with no construction mess.

Competitive Advantage: Clarity reduces office stress when people know what’s expected of them and how their work reaches the company’s goals.


Photo: HON Abound Workstations

Cubicles Support People

An office has equipment and furnishings, but the reality is talented people need support in their work. The right layout leads to effective planning and communication. Don’t use cubicles just to house workers, but:

  • Respect their space
  • Involve them in layout and needs discussions
  • Implement a solution that’s satisfactory

Partitioned office spaces have another benefit: Wellness

A Sage Journals’ abstract of a study on healthiest office environments showed that the “Best health was among employees in cell offices and flex offices. Workers in these types of offices and in shared room offices also rated the highest job satisfaction.”

Competitive Advantage: An engaged workforce with people who take a personal stake in the outcome.


Photo: HON Workspace Solutions

Using Modular Desks

Modularity means being flexible and adapting to different needs. A modular desk will start with one piece such as a rectangular surface and fit one person. Add rounded sections and the desk can enlarge to serve two employees.

The concept has been used in homes for decades with dining tables that can be enlarged by adding a “leaf.”

Height adjustable desks are a form of modularity, giving employees the freedom to have the desk fit their personal need.

Modular Seating Options and Tables

Keep your office up to date with modular lounge furniture. The pieces are useful for reception areas where they lend to a cohesive design versus randomly placed chairs that are uncomfortable.

Modular lounge furniture is useful for break areas and for employees who want to pick up their laptops and work away from their normal office setting. You have options of using single, freestanding pieces or bringing the furniture together as a group.

Each solution has a clean, contemporary design, fits a variety of interiors and can be arranged at a moment’s notice.

The Encore Dabble Modular Lounge has straight and curved benches.

Need power ports? Those can be added to products made by Krug Zola where the components link together using brackets. The power connections can be mounted flush on the side or under the seat.

A unique seating option is the Encore Particles Modular Lounge. Pieces taper inward or outward and “nest” against each other for the fit you want.

Modular furniture lends itself to creating a comfortable and pleasant environment, a trend that will continue in office design.

Now what happens when meeting and presentation needs change?

The solution is using modular tables.

Products like the Krug V2 Modular Table has cabinets that can handle flat screen televisions weighing up to 200 pounds. There are 12 modular shapes for the tops and additional shapes for corners.

Instead of worrying about change, modular office solutions help you prepare for it.

Modular Furniture is Designed for Long Term Use

You may wonder how sturdy modular furniture is. Foundational parts and connections are made from steel and aluminum. Quality products are sturdy and built to last even though they’re flexible and one person can assemble many of the available products.

It’s not just the materials that are built to last. Trends in office design and functionality matter, too.

Modular workstations and accessories like sofas are highly functional in many different settings and will continue growing in popularity. Some of the trends include making pieces that cross-over from a work environment into public spaces like museums and homes, as noted in dezeen magazine.

Italian designer Luca Nichetto’s approach is to create pieces that are “universal” to “suit various environments.” One sofa is designed to fit in a corporate lounge, art gallery and a homeowner’s living room.

Public spaces and work settings continue to have elements that were once found only in homes.

Today’s furniture reflects changes taking place throughout society and in every industry. Even healthcare office space can benefit from modular furniture. Patients receive consultations and treatments in one-room clinics, mixed-use commercial buildings and community centers.

Furniture is available to fit all settings and to have a welcoming presentation.

Modular Office Furniture is Ergonomically Sound

Ergonomics is the study of people in their working environment as noted in this definition of ergonomics from the University of North Carolina. The goal is fitting the environment to fit the employee’s needs so they can be healthy and avoid physical strains when working.

Sitting in a cubicle isn’t a passive activity. We’re bending to reach for files, leaning to see the computer screen or turning our necks to cradle a phone.

Modular furniture supports a person’s natural movements and allows for good posture when sitting or standing.

Get the Expertise You Need

Make cubicles work for you and your team. Ask 2010 Office Furniture about their space planning strategy so you can create the efficiencies you need to reach your goals.

The 2010 Office Furniture team has more than 45 years of experience serving corporations, universities and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Creating Ergonomic Workstations for Office Well-Being and Productivity
Main Photo by: Friant
Resources & Special Thanks to: Dimensions.Guide, Sage Journals, Dezeen, UNC & Respective Product Manufacturers: Friant, HON, ODS / Office Design Studio & Trendway

Creative Office Layouts that Engage Employees

Companies with unique and creative office layouts based around their brands, as a result, inspire and engage their employees to live out their brands’ promises on a daily basis. The following companies have unique office décor and settings to make employees feel a part of the mission and core strength.  Remember not to try and copy them. There’s only one Google and one Dropbox. But instead, adapt their ideas to inspire creativity, enhance collaboration and create your own engaging workplace experience.

Edmunds

Edmunds.com is all about cars and you see it immediately when stepping into their Santa Monica office that houses a couple of hundred employees. Edmunds launched in the 1960s with paper car reports at newsstands and remain recognized as the Car People who make car buying easier.  Their mission is clear once you walk in the door. A classic Corvette is suspended above the reception desk and the extensive coffee bar is decked out in chrome wheels.  The office space is flexible with mini-meeting rooms that are easy to duck in and out of. Departments are arranged with workstations in open areas and there’s plenty of room between them.  Edmunds has been rated as one of the best places to work in Southern California every year since 2010.

Dropbox

Having spiral bound rings above your desk gives a mix of closure and openness. Dropbox has a unique approach to office design and is aware of the drawbacks of the open offices. The file-sharing tech firm has described how providing various types of spaces for employees can allow people to come together in teams to work on a problem and then disperse to work on the details.

Google

Spaces for work and places for play describe in general how Google offices are designed and laid out. The company logo is always present and is integrated into the design. In its relatively recent Pittsburgh office, Google in white letters is neatly painted across a red brick wall to pay respects to the original building.  Google offices include pool tables and foosball games with a design that reflects some of the local flavor.  The innovative and now legendary search firm gives a local, at-home vibe for its employees no matter where they work.

AirBnB

AirBnB’s international offices show that the reception desk represents more than an afterthought. In its London, Sao Paulo and Singapore locations, the reception area is modeled after a front porch. The offices are created in tandem with local design firms and pull on the mission of living anywhere.  The headquarters in San Francisco have work rooms that are modeled after actual apartments and in Singapore there’s bleacher-style seating to hold informal meetings.

Urban Outfitters

In Philadelphia, Urban Outfitters pays homage to a 125-year history of shipbuilding with the layout and look of its design studios. An old navy yard feel is integrated with today’s technology and office comforts.  The office design has been honored by the National AIA Honor Awards Jury for its “tension between old and new … indoor and out … all of this while holding in character with the corporate image.”

What About Creative Office Layouts for Your Company?

You’re probably not trying to make headlines or win awards with your office layout, but does it serve your employees well and represent your brand effectively?  Planning a creative office space that also supports the company’s goals and objectives well takes deliberate thought, but the result is a boost in productivity and office morale.

Consider ways to refresh your workspace. Contact 2010 Office Furniture for expert input based on many years of experience helping corporations, universities, and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Planning Office Layouts for Today’s Workplace Needs
Main Photo: OFS Brands Kintra Table
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: OFS Brands

Choosing Office Furniture for the Optimal Employee Experience

Choosing Office Furniture for the Optimal Employee Experience

Leading companies focus not just on customer experience, but also pay attention to the employee experience.  Starting with the outside environment, attention is paid to the overall offering of the office buildings.  Offices that are established in historic districts or older buildings are retaining ties with the past, while modern structures remain consistent with the spirit of its design. Inside, a livable atmosphere that’s welcoming and focused on employee comfort and health will continue as a standard to achieve.

Frame the Attitude

Starting the week and each day with the right mindset includes having an inviting atmosphere that doesn’t appear crowded and overwhelming. Office design and set up becomes an important foundation for creating a favorable experience by showing an interest in people. It’s an investment in human capital, the most critical resource for any for-profit or non-profit organization.

Little things matter like having plenty of natural light and outdoor views for a change of scenery while other elements include:

  • Coffee bars
  • Comfortable private spaces and lounges
  • Wellness incentives

Tie in to the Community

A one hundred-year-old Nabisco factory in Pittsburgh is now one of Google’s 21stcentury offices, located on the penthouse floor. A local architectural firm’s design pays homage to the building it occupies by acknowledging the community’s history and links to the present day.  Exposed brick in the reception area with the Google logo over it, along with a huge photo of the well-known Smithfield Street Bridge, are among the touches that connect workers with the surrounding area.

In Southern California, employees often commute from completely separate regions, but we’re familiar with the landscapes. Mountains, the beaches, and sports teams are used as inspirations to connect us with our surroundings and make us feel right at home.

Current office layouts are being driven by the desire for shared ideas and relationships. A drive to communicate and collaborate together is essential for offices to create community.

Create Livable Work Spaces to Enhance Employee Experience

Wellness including ergonomic furniture that promotes movement are ways offices are enhancing the quality of life within the workspace. Work can get stressful, so a livable office that offers relaxing spaces to deal with challenges of winning new accounts or pleasing clients can provide a sense of relief from the daily grind.

Having a sense of freedom is important. Staff members typically like to have their own assigned desks, but being able to be mobile with open lounge areas can create comfort and well-being. Furniture that can adjust from one user to another include adaptable workstations and height-adjustable desks. These acknowledge individual needs.

Want to add movement to a meeting area? Or have an active area be flexible as a meeting area? Options like the Nomad Sport Conference Table can bring a team together.

In Creating an Optimal Employee Experience, a write-up for the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM), employee engagement is often lacking. Younger workers are willing to go work where they think they’ll personally be happiest, and work cultures can’t make lasting fixes through cosmetic approaches alone.

Little things matter in the daily life of a company.  Maximize your office layout and employee experience by exploring what’s possible for your office space. 2010 Office Furniture has extensive experience providing the latest office furniture for large and small companies in Los Angeles County, Orange County and the Inland Empire, and you can submit your project questions and needs and speak to one of our experts.

Image Source: Friant

3 Popular Office Layouts to Meet Your Office Culture

3 Popular Office Layouts to Meet Your Office Culture

The Importance of Office Layouts

An office layout that’s set up for maximum functionality and efficiency creates a productive environment. Achieving this optimal arrangement takes planning and accounts for all the necessary accessories and equipment.  Here is an overview of different office layouts, how each can be furnished, and the impact on the personal preferences of employees.

1. Open Office Layouts

A large space without walls is a simple definition of the open office. It’s a highly relational approach to work and fosters communication and collaboration. In practical terms, the layout can also be an easy way to manage people who do a single task like data entry. Tech companies and start-ups often benefit from this layout.  The challenge is that privacy is scarce and there are more distractions than in divided offices.

Seating and Workstation Options:

Adjusting for Personal Needs:

  • Letting employees work from home when they need privacy
  • Creating private areas using comfortable and state-of-the-art lounge chairs like Focal Point and Connection Zone
  • Using Co-op lounges for private, small group discussions and phone conferences

2. Cellular Office Layouts

A large space that’s divided using cubicle style desks offers greater privacy and more personal space than the open office. Benefits include being adaptable in space sizes and design. Sales organizations can benefit from this style where time is split between the office and going out to see clients.  The cubicle usually evokes images of corporate sameness with a dull gray interior and workers slotted into positions. However, today’s options are quite attractive. Instead of industrial grade partitions with desks squeezed in, the desk and cubicle are often one and the same.

Seating and Workstation Options:

Adjusting for Personal Needs:

  • Since cubicles can divide up a room, having an open area for lunches or lounging can offer variety.

3. Private Office Layouts

For an office space that already has hallways and walls, offices ensure the greatest degree of privacy possible. This style is found in top-down organizations and hearkens back to the days when the president of a company had the largest office or prized corner office.  Professional firms and companies where individuals need a high degree of focus in their work can benefit the most from this setup. The downside is that it hinders the relational aspects of work that younger generations enjoy and the layout can seem intimidating and overly formal.

The look of the furniture for private office layouts can reflect the company’s brand and the individual’s brand and personal tastes.

Seating and Workstation Options:

Suggested Innovative Office Layout Ideas

Be a trendsetter or invite employees to design their own office space whether the existing plan is open, made of cells or private rooms.

Shared and Personal Space:

  • Shared spaces can have individual lounge areas nearby. If you use a product like the Mayline – E5 Open Plan Benching that accommodates eight people, then each person could have an individual lounge chair nearby that has a reading lamp and available plug-ins.
  • Encourage the team to decorate according to their hobbies and interests: a library look, sports, or outdoor area.

A Middle of Room Lounge:

  • In an open office space, use modular cubicles or open plan benching around the sides. This is nice if windows let in plenty of natural light. Then in the middle of the room, create an open area for break-time reading, eating and beverage service.
  • Consider an arrangement like the Coact lounge or the Island Modular to bring people together.

Choosing Reception Furniture

The style of office layout will help determine the type of reception desk and guest chairs to use in the entrance of your office.

Designing Your Office Layout

Looking to design your own open, cellular or private office?  Let our experts help you!  2010 Office Furniture has more than 45 years of experience working with some of the most prominent companies in Los Angeles and Orange County, including Southern California Edison, Irvine Chamber of Commerce, The Honda Center, UCLA, Bunim Murray Productions, Hollywood Park Casino, Living Spaces, W Hotels, Sony Pictures Studios, Dignity Health and more.  Share your project with us today and talk to us about a complimentary space planning consultation.

Image Source: Hon